September 4, 2012

September : Sickle Cell Awareness (USA)

Sickle Cell Disease :  A genetic disorder that results in the premature death of red blood cells. Patients are constantly short of red blood cells. Abnormally shaped sickle cells will sometimes block other blood cells.

One of the primary functions of red blood cells is to carry oxygen and we all know the many amazing functions/benefits of oxygen in our body

gShort of bone marrow transplant in severe cases, there is currently no cure for sickle cell disease...just treatments to manage symptoms and prevent complications

Sickle Cell and Exercise
Even though most people with sickle cell have to battle against many different conditions from abdominal pain,joint pain and fatigue to shortness of breath, it is possible to incorporate exercise into their lifestyles.

1.Strength Training: Because  of shortage of oxygen delivery by red blood cells to working muscles, there is a shortage in energy production through the aerobic system). = fatigue easily

- Avoid high impact exercises
- use light weights
- Examples include : Le Press, Leg extension, Leg Curl, Leg dead lift, quads stretches,

2. Aerobic Training: Because people with sickle cell easily fatigue, improving endurance is a good goal for this group

- avoid high intensity or high contact activities
- hydrate + hydrate + hydrate
- Examples include speed walking, low intensity running,

Swimming in WARM WATER in a good exercise for this population since most of them experience joint pain.

- I emphasis warm water because cold water will require you're body to burn more energy to keep warm
- I will not suggest deep water diving or activities which decreases your ability to use and transport oxygen
- Warm water is good for relieving joint pain                                                      

And since this is sometimes an exercise blog, I can't close out without highlighting what the athletic world is doing to promote Sickle cell Anemia Awareness.

This is Ryan Clark..........

 He plays american football for the Steelers #25

Clark who has the sickle cell trait is launching an organisation called THE CURE LEAGE. This organisation is a collaboration between supporters, the Institute of Transfusion Medicine, University of Pittsburg's medical center and vascular medicine institute. Their purpose is to try and find a cure for sickle cell.

He announced this initiative today while the rest of his team traveled to Denver to play against the Bronco. Clark cannot play in Denver because the high altitude poses a medical risk. The last time he played in Denver..2007..he lost a spleen and gall bladder after experiencing abdominal pain on his left side. Clearly since that experience,  Denver is a NO PLAY zone for him.

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